6 Programs That Reveal Where the Future of Design is Heading


Like everything else, the design world is moving at a crazy pace.

You can make things in the cloud while intelligent machines free up your day allowing you more time to scroll, swipe and gesture in front of different sized screens, in different locations, at the same time. Sounds pretty good right?

Adobe recently flew us to Las Vegas for Adobe MAX, unveiling the future of design and creative development. Game-changing design applications, creative artificial intelligence, mobile workflows—it was all about efficiency. When it comes down to it, there are so many time-consuming jobs, processes and mundane tasks that can, and should, be done in a more efficient way. Well, today’s your lucky day because we’ve condensed all the wonder in the design world into six innovative programs that have been getting us really worked up.

In between rolls of the dice, we were also able to chat with a number of creative folk about their thoughts on where things are headed. People including Annie Griffiths (founder of Ripple Effect Images and the first female National Geographic photographer), Aaron Draplin (founder of Draplin Design Co. in Portland), Ian Durkin (senior curator at Vimeo Staff Picks), Jason Levine (principal worldwide evangelist at Adobe) and Gemma O’Brien (artist and illustrator from Sydney).

Adobe Sensei

Integrating machine learning and artificial intelligence with the way you design. Sensei learns from you and everyone around the world to make smarter, faster and efficient creative projects. Sounds creepy, but it’s like your own creative assistant, that helps your design, edit, source, manipulate or create whatever it is that you want to do.

Project Cloak – content aware-fill for video editing

We’ve all experienced it. Your rushing through footage, only to find a key shot has an unwanted object in frame. It could be a tree, a shadow, some signage, a person, or even planned set props or wires that need removing regardless. Whatever the object, it would normally need a Roto Artist to remove the object frame-by-frame. This is a painstaking process which in some cases returns limited results, but almost always increases the risk of heart failure in the Roto Artist.

Adobe will soon be launching a new addition to After Effects called ‘Cloak’basically content aware-fill for video, using Adobe’s machine learning technology. Simply create a mask around an object, run Cloak and it removes the object while making an assumption on the surrounding pixels. Opportunities are pretty endless here—you could even remove an ex-partner from old home movies.

Adobe Capture – Type

Designers have a weird obsession with type, often bordering on religious. My university typography teacher once got into a physical fight at our first-year graduation party, over bad kerning (letter spacing) on the bar menu. It had nothing to do with the pints he was putting away like bowling pins, but needless to say, he was muy passionate. Adobe has a developed a mobile app called Adobe Capture that allows the user to take a snap of any section of type and run it through Typekit database to find you the same font, or its nearest cousin. Pick your winner and add to your Creative Cloud library, for immediate usage.

Lightroom CC, cloud-based editing

This is an interesting one. It takes post-production to the cloud, so you have the ability to edit on any device, at any time. Up to 20TB of cloud storage available means you can store your RAW files up in the heavens, and edit with your phone on the bus at 8 am, your work desktop at 9.30 am, and your tablet on the toilet at 10.45 am. All the changes you make are visible on any device and when you email, send links or upload photos, Lightroom CC exports your edited photos using the RAW files as the source. It’s a huge change in workflow, but for photographers in particular it will improve their process and output, saving shitloads of time.

Adobe Capture – Shapes

If you’ve ever had to deal with a designer trying to explain the difference between vector and pixel graphics, you’ve also experienced piercing your own eyeball with a hot kebab skewer. So skipping right over the crippling eye damage by assuming you know the difference between the two, the Shapes camera setting lets you take a photo of an image in pixels, and convert it to vector, all on your mobile. It’s super handy for creating small hand-drawn vector elements on the fly, without the need for a scanner.

Adobe Photoshop Sketch CC

Let’s face it, time-lapse videos are not a new phenomenon within the “check-out how-fucking-talented-I-am” artistic world, but goddam are they impressive. What’s more delightful is being able to press one button to make it happen. Gone are the days of elaborate tripod contraptions leering over you like shadowy Demogorgons. Every little virtual brush stroke has been captured as you go, so all you need do is share it with your world.

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